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George Rutter (1859–1939)

Mr. George Rutter, who, at the age of 80, died in Sydney last Saturday, was one of the brave pioneers of the N.S.W. sector of the Australian Labor Movement.

For the past half century he was secretary of the Sydney Trades Hall Association, and was one of the now very few survivors of those present at the laying of the foundation stone of the Sydney Trades Hall in 1888, by Lord Carrington, then Governor of N.S.W.

George was closely and enthusiastically associated with the establishment of the N.S.W. Political Labor League, an organisation which was the fore-runner of the ALP. This body was then known as the Sydney Electoral League, and was a product of the big 1890 Maritime Strike, and memorably vindicated its existence by sending many Labor members into the State Parliament.

George served his apprenticeship as a stonemason in England, migrated to New Zealand, and ultimately settled in Sydney. A highly-skilled craftsman, he assisted in the building of N.S.W. Government House, and other important State buildings.

He rendered invaluable service to the Eight-Hour Movement, as it was known in those pioneering days, and was one of the chief organising factors in many Eight-Hour Day processions and allied functions.

It was characteristic of the old stalwart that he maintained his membership of the Stonemasons' Union till his death.

Aptly, in appreciation of his long and conscientious services to the Labor Movement, a plaque dedicated to his memory is to be placed in the main entrance of the Sydney Trades Hall.

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'Rutter, George (1859–1939)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


23 October, 1859
Newport, Shropshire, England


29 July, 1939 (aged 79)
Hurstville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

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Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism